I remember as a kid taking time to lie in the grass, look up at the sky and discover a world of cloud shaped wonders. Once I saw a bunny eat an elephant, then it pooped out a bear. It seems the impossible can happen with a little bit of imagination and a sky full of clouds. I mean, who ever heard of a bunny eating an elephant before? But I saw it happen right before my very eyes.
Those carefree times don’t happen so much any more. I’m not as prone to pause life to look up at the sky in search of familiar shapes…but I should. I should slow down to enjoy life more and to allow myself to be me. We all should. Do you realize this very moment can never be refunded or returned? It has to be used as is, right now.
That’s not always so easy to do when dealing with a chronic illness. Especially when the challenges facing you seem bigger than life itself. The spasticity in my legs and right arm have increased by a gazillion times over the past month. I am finding it harder and harder to move my right leg altogether. And the pain that accompanies the muscle tightness is killer. Like scream-as-loud-as-you-can-because-it-hurts pain.
Sometimes all I can do is sit and cry. So do you know what I do? I sit and cry. That’s right. I have no secret remedy for how to face the pain graciously. But I do believe in allowing yourself the freedom to express your emotions whether they be tears, laughter or screams.
I remember one day sitting in my car in the parking lot at the grocery store screaming. I was still able to walk, but by time I had finished shopping and made my way back to the car, I was so weak that all I could do was sit and scream. So I did. I’m sure the shoppers passing by thought I was completely nuts. But I didn’t care. It helped me vent my frustrations. Then I took a deep breath, wiped away the tears and drove home feeling much better.
When facing difficult times, I have found some of my most therapeutic moments have been when I have taken the time to pause and allow myself to simply be. To allow the emotions to spill out for a moment, then take time to notice life like I did as a child. To look around at all the wonder that there truly is in life. To enjoy the tiny little kisses life gives us: the flowers swaying in the wind, the sound of children laughing, the smell of a freshly cut lawn. There’s a pause button in every day, you just have to choose to use it.
No matter what you are facing, whether it be difficulties in your marriage, relationship troubles, problems at work, stress over finances, or simply having an “MS is kicking my butt” kind of day…pause and take time to simply be! Twenty minutes…that’s all you need…just twenty minutes to yourself. Those twenty minutes will be worth the investment. Trust me.
Now I’m off to spend some time curled up in my favorite chair as I sip some coffee and watch the sun come up. It’s a new day filled with new possibilities.